After a week of meetings, a man came up to meet me following the last service. A former missionary and a church member for over 30 years, he said something to me that I still haven't been able to classify as either a compliment or something otherwise. He said, "I've been in church all my life and all my life I've heard pastors say that they were sinners. You're the first one I ever really believed."

Though I still chuckle over that remark, I acknowledge with complete sincerity his observation. You see, I'm not here, serving God, because I'm good or talented. I'm here because God has put me here. And sometimes I'll be soft and sometimes I'll be hard; sometimes I'll stand and sometimes I'll fall. People may call me "Reverend," but, the truth is, I'm not.

God sets aside brothers and sisters who are called of God to lead. The problem is that sometimes we get the idea that we are God's gift to the world. When that happens, the delicate balance between gifted leadership and ecclesiastical elitism gets shattered. There is no room in the Body of Christ for ecclesiastical elitism. That is the world's way.

You may serve in the church as an elder. You may teach Sunday school. You may reach out to others in love. You may be a missionary. You may share Christ and see others come to faith. You may have a certain spiritual gift and are using it faithfully for outreach. I thank God for all that. But remember that you're doing it because God told you to do it, not because you're a super Christian. There are no super Christians in the Body of Christ. All of us are "just one among equals." The importance of being honest and acknowledging that truth cannot be overstated.

When a Christian gets honest and vulnerable, something exciting happens. We get to the point where God can use us. D.L. Moody once said, "I've had more trouble with D.L. Moody than any other man I've ever known." Thomas a Kempis said, "Be not angry that you cannot make others as you wish them to be since you cannot make yourself as you wish yourself to be."

If we don't get honest with ourselves, then God is going to force us to get honest with ourselves if we are His own. Let me tell you a prayer that God always answers, "Lord, show me myself." Don't pray it, though, unless you mean it because He will and you won't like what you see. But He will make you different.

Super Christians? Like Superman, they simply don't exist. There are only sinners saved by the blood of the Lamb. Remember that the next time you find yourself enjoying compliments so much they take on the sound of a flapping cape.

Copyright 2001 Steve Brown. All rights reserved.